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On a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass came across a 16 year old boy who moved her immensely with his amazing and seemingly natural charms and grace as a dancer. Having been a longtime devotee to the world of dance herself back in the United States, Anne felt compelled to give this young boy the opportunity to leave his home and follow a dream that she felt he hadn't even yet seen for himself. From the serene countryside of Southeast Asia to the halls of the New York's School of American Ballet to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, DANCING ACROSS BORDERS peeks behind the scenes into the world of dance and chronicles the intimate and triumphant story of a boy who was discovered, and who only much later discovered all that he had in himself. Written by
Dancing Across Borders and heart-warming and inspirational!
Dancing Across Borders is about Sokvannara 'Sy' Sar, a Cambodian boy who is spotted by a woman during her trip to Cambodia. Upon seeing him perform a traditional Cambodian dance, and recognizing the uncultivated talent he possessed, the woman offers Sy the opportunity to come to America and study ballet in New York City. This documentary is about Sy's journey to America and how he not only learned ballet, but came to be an extraordinary professional dancer.
I found this documentary to be very heart-warming. Sy is a very likable guy. The documentary contains countless dance footage of him with interviews with Sy and his teachers interspersed throughout. Considering that Sy had never heard of ballet, he didn't know any English upon his arrival to the U.S., and got a very late start in pursuing a professional career in ballet, his story is quite miraculous. I thought that the subject of this documentary was really interesting and I found myself rather inspired by Sy's story.
My issue with the documentary was that it dragged a bit. The pace seemed a bit too slow to me and many of the interviews were just saying the same thing again and again: how great Sy is. I loved the dance footage though. There were some especially great clips of rehearsal footage. I just felt that Dancing Across Borders could have used a bit more editing. Overall, I liked it though! I give it 6 stars!
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